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Japanese LPsGuide to Reference

"Obi" History #3


Obis with EMI/Odeon logo


A unique feature of Japanese LPs is a fragile strip of paper called an "Obi" (pronounced oh'-bee; literally meaning "belt") wrapped around the cover.
The practice of wrapping an Obi around an LP started many years before the Beatles releases and continues up to the present day.
The Obi is generally used as a marketing tool, and Obi designs are as varied as the LPs they decorate.
Some Obis display attractive graphics and provide a list of the songs on the album or other information considered useful to the consumer.
Other Obis simply display a marketing phrase meant to pique the viewer's interest.



Type-9: "Country Flag" series Obi (1976 - 1980?)

This style Obi came into use in June 1976 to promote the EAS series of Beatles reissues.
It is a wide Obi that has the flag of the country of the LP's origin at the top. The LP's series number is located on the Apple logo and at an angle at the bottom. Has a red* background.

* excepted #30 (Hollywood Bowl)
obi

Series Number
(#1 - #29 : Apple label, #30 - #40 : EMI/Odeon label)

  • #1 Please Please Me (UK)
  • #2 With The Beatles (UK)
  • #3 A Hard Day's Night (UK)
  • #4 With The Beatles (UK)
  • #5 Help! (UK)
  • #6 Rubber Soul (UK)
  • #7 Revolver (UK)
  • #8 A Collection Of Beatles Oldies (UK)
  • #9 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (UK)
  • #10 The Beatles (UK)
  • #11 Yellow Submarine (UK)
  • #12 Abbey Road (UK)
  • #13 Let It Be (US)

  • #14 1962-1966
  • #15 1967-1970
  • #16 Meet The Beatles (US)
  • #17 The Beatles' Second Album (US)
  • #18 Something New (US)
  • #19 The Beatles' Story (US)
  • #20 The Early Beatles (US)
  • #21 Beatles VI (US)
  • #22 Help! (US)
  • #23 Yesterday And Today (US)
  • #24 Magical Mystery Tour (US)
  • #25 Hey Jude (US)
  • #26 Meet The Beatles (J)

  • #27 The Beatles' Second Album (J)
  • #28 Beatles No.5 (J)
  • #29 Rock and Roll Music (US)
  • #30 The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl
  • #31 Love Songs
  • #32 The Beatles' Greatest (Hol.)
  • #33 The Beatles Beat (Ger.)
  • #34 Rarities (UK)
  • #35 Rarities (US)
  • #36 Rock and Roll Music Vol.1 (US)
  • #37 Rock and Roll Music Vol.2 (US)
  • #38 The Beatles Ballad
  • #39 Reel Music
  • #40 The Beatles In Italy (Italy)


EAS-80830 EAS-50007-8 EAS-81056
(20. May 1977/1st. Press) (5. Nov. 1977/1st. Press) (5. Apr. 1978/1st. Press)
obi obi obi
EAS-81057 EAS-63010 EAS-81325
(5. Apr. 1978/1st. Press) (5. Oct. 1979/1st. Press) (5. May 1980/1st. Press)
obi obi obi


exceptions
EAS-70128 EAS-70129 EAS-91006
(5. Nov. 1980/1st. Press) (21. Dec. 1980/1st. Press)
obi obi obi

exceptions (Box Set) exceptions (Reissue albums)
EAS-50031-44 EAS-77011-18 EAS-50021-2 EAS-50023-4
(5. Feb. 1979) (21. Jan. 1981) (5. Nov. 1978/3rd. Press)
obi obi obi obi

exceptions (Reissue albums)
EALF-97001 EAS-90071 EAS-90072
(5. Jun. 1978/PRO USE series) (25. Dec. 1978/Picture disk) (5. Feb. 1979/Picture disk)
obi obi obi



Type-10: "The MONO Red Vinyl LP" series Obi (1982)

In 1982, Toshiba issued a limited edition series (limited to 10,000 copies of each record) of mono LPs. These records contain the original U.K. mono mixes and parallel very closely the U.K. mono reissue series that came out in England around the same time.
The albums in the series are:
  • Please Please Me (EAS-70130)
  • With The Beatles (EAS-70131)
  • A Hard Day's Night (EAS-70132)
  • Beatles For Sale (EAS-70133)
  • Help! (EAS-70134)
  • Rubber Soul (EAS-70135)
  • Revolver (EAS-70136)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (EAS-70137)
  • The Beatles (EAS-67157-8)
  • Yellow Submarine (EAS-70138)


Example
EAS-70130 EAS-70131 EAS-70132 EAS-70138
(21. Jan. 1982) (21. Jan. 1982) (21. Jan. 1982) (21. Jan. 1982)
obi obi obi obi
--> and more


exceptions
EAS-81480 EAS-81525 EAS-91047
(1. Apr. 1982/1st. Press) (21. Oct. 1982/1st. Press) (1. Dec. 1982/1st. Press)
obi obi obi

Reissue albums
EAS-50021-2 EAS-50023-4 EAS-77009-10 EAS-66010-23
(1982/4th. Press) (1982/4th. Press) (1982/2nd. Press) (1. Dec.1982/2nd. Press)
obi obi Rock'n Roll Music (2nd press)
Sorry, I don't have
obi



Type-11: "The MONO Red Vinyl LP #2" series Obi (1986)

In 1986, Toshiba reissued the same red vinyl mono series.
They reissued these records with the exact same cover art work, same record labels, same catalog numbers, and the same prices.
The top of the 1982 Obi has the words "the beatles original mono record" superimposed over a drawing of a red vinyl record. The top of the 1986 Obi bears the triangular logo for the 20th anniversary of the Beatles' concert in Japan.
The 1986 series was also a limited edition, the number believed to be somewhat less than the 1982 edition.
The albums in the series are:
  • Please Please Me (EAS-70130)
  • With The Beatles (EAS-70131)
  • A Hard Day's Night (EAS-70132)
  • Beatles For Sale (EAS-70133)
  • Help! (EAS-70134)
  • Rubber Soul (EAS-70135)
  • Revolver (EAS-70136)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (EAS-70137)
  • The Beatles (EAS-67157-8)
  • Yellow Submarine (EAS-70138)
A limited edition box set (limited to 1,000 boxes) was also issued called "The Beatles Original Mono Record Box".


Example
EAS-70130 EAS-70135 EAS-70136 EAS-67157-8
(6. Apr. 1986) (6. Apr. 1986) (6. Apr. 1986) (6. Apr. 1986)
obi obi obi obi
--> and more



Type-12: "The Final Vinyl" series Obi (1992-1993)

Used for the TOJP series of Beatles reissues commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Beatles' debut and promoted as the final series of Beatles vinyl releases.
It is a wide Obi that has its number inside the flag at the top of the Obi. Has a black background.

The albums in the series are:
  • Please Please Me (TOJP-7071)
  • With The Beatles (TOJP-7072)
  • A Hard Day's Night (TOJP-7073)
  • Beatles For Sale (TOJP-7074)
  • Help! (TOJP-7075)
  • Rubber Soul (TOJP-7076)
  • Revolver (TOJP-7077)
  • Oldies (TOJP-7078)
  • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (TOJP-7079)
  • The Beatles (TOJP-7080-1)
  • Yellow Submarine (TOJP-7082)
  • Abbey Road (TOJP-7083)
  • Let It Be (TOJP-7084)
  • The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl (TOJP-7411)
  • 1962-1966 (TOJP-7414-5)
  • 1967-1970 (TOJP-7416-7)
  • 20 Greatest Hits (TOJP-7419)
  • Past Masters Vol.1 & Vol.2 (TOJP-7421-2)


Example
TOJP-7071 TOJP-7072 TOJP-7077 TOJP-7083
(25. Mar. 1992) (27. May 1992) (29. Jul. 1992)
obi obi obi obi
--> and more

excepsions
TOJP-7411 TOJP-7414-5 TOJP-7416-7
(23. Sep. 1992) (27. Jan. 1993) (27. Jan. 1993)
obi obi obi

excepsions
TOJP-7419 TOJP-7421-2
(24. Dec. 1992) (27. Jan. 1993)
obi obi











back ...Go to "Obi History #1 (Odeon) Guide page
back ...Go to "Obi History #2 (Apple) Guide page



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